After bariatric surgery, you start with a liquid diet and slowly work your way up to being able to digest regular, whole foods. A soft food diet is a necessary part of your post-surgery routine. Soft food is easy to digest and helps get your digestive system ready for whole foods.
Which soft foods can I eat?
Each bariatric surgeon may slightly differ on which foods are allowed, but there are similar themes. You must eat foods that are easy to digest; usually a low-fiber diet with easy-to-digest proteins. The Healclub Soft Food Diet (for 2-6 weeks post-surgery) includes:
Beverages 8 cups/day (64 oz.)
- Any beverage containing 10 calories or less per serving that is non-carbonated; limit caffeine to 2 cups per day (200 mg)
- Water, Crystal Light or store-brand sugar-free drink mix, sugar-free Kool-Aid, PowerAde Zero (not G2), Propel, Milo’s No Calorie Tea, unsweet tea/decaf tea/herbal tea, coffee/decaf coffee, etc.
- A small amount (a few tablespoons) of cream in coffee is acceptable, half-n-half or whipping cream preferred
- All artificial sweeteners are allowed including Splenda (sucralose), Equal (aspartame), Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin), Truvia (stevia)
Protein Shakes, 1-2 per day
- Premier, Atkins (Blue or Red Top), Ensure Max, Celebrate Protein Powder (mixed with water), Bariatric Advantage Protein shake (mixed with water), Premier Clear, Protein2O
- Chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad (made with full fat mayonnaise, no pickle relish, onion, celery, fruit added; seasoning ok if sugar free), eggs cooked any style, lunch meat, flaky white fish (non-breaded)
- Any soft cooked legume including refried beans, lima beans, black eyed peas, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, tofu
- Cheese, cottage cheese, light yogurt with total carbs of 10g per serving or less
- Overcooked fresh, frozen or canned vegetables:
- Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, pumpkin, spinach, tomato sauce, wax beans, yellow summer squash, zucchini
Foods NOT Recommended
- Bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, noodles, crackers, grits, oatmeal, cereal, fruits, fruit juice, smoothies, salads, milk, alcohol, nuts, peanut butter, soup, ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet sauces, foods not listed
- Sugar free Jell-o
- Sugar free popsicles
Healclub’s Tips for Success:
- Drink 1-2 serving of protein shakes daily to supplement protein intake.
- Do not drink with meals. Wait 30 minutes after meals to drink.
- Eat 5-6 small meals of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per meal, starting with just 1-2 bites at first.
- Eat a small meal every 3-4 hours and drink beverages between meals.
- Always eat protein first. Most of your meal should be protein foods.
- Chew small bites of food 20-30 times before swallowing; use baby utensils.
- Do NOT puree or your food.
- Allow 20-30 minutes for a meal (no longer).
What are easy soft food ideas?
For the soft food phase of your post-op routine, try:
- Hard boiled eggs
- Deli meat with cheese
- Cheese with 1 tablespoon fruit
- Canned refried beans and yogurt
- Scrambled eggs with 2 teaspoons of avocado
- Rotisserie chicken, cut up small with steamed frozen veggies
- Canned tuna mixed with Greek yogurt or mayo
- Canned chicken mixed with Greek yogurt or mayo
- Canned salmon
- High-protein egg salad